Recent comments/postings have prompted me to put up this
Regarding retirement in other (cheaper) countries:
Like many Silverhaired members, I was attracted by the
wonderful prospect of “doubling my retirement funds”. Imagine this – Take my Singapore
dollars, change them into ringgit or Thai Baht or Rupiahs, tah-dah, I have
twice/thrice the amount of money – to spend in these countries. I can buy a cheap(er)
property, employ a cheap(er) maid, eat cheap(er) food…. You get the idea –
living cost is a lot cheaper in these other countries.
What’s the catch?
WHAT’S THE CATCH????
Our neighbouring countries are “politically and economically
Yes – go ahead and have a good laugh. I have modified this
statement to be “politically correct”.
Yep – I don’t want the gahment OR other countries’ gahment
to hantum me.
But seriously – back to point one –
Several months ago, I tried to organize a day trip to recce
JB for retirement living. The response
was quite dismal. Only four people put up their hands. The trip was
cancelled. These are the mistakes I have made –
MISTAKE NO. 1
I was misled by the NATO people.
People kept talking about “retiring in another (cheaper)
country”. Do they really want to do something about it? I guessed not. When the
opportunity arose for these people to check it out, only five people (including
me) were seriously interested.
MISTAKE NO. 2
I tried to draw a lively discussion on the (THAT) forum, by
inviting people to share their experiences on line. People were shy. If they
share their bad experiences, they feel embarrassed. If they share their good
experiences, they fear that they will draw unnecessary attention upon
BUT – they did write to me privately – and I thank them –
thank you for sharing.
These pointers are gleaned from their personal feedback to
me (not in any particular order) –
The immigration ppl will play tricks on you; make you “do
naked squats”, will not stamp your passports…
Don’t show off your Rolex watches; don’t drive your
Singapore registered cars; don’t open your mouth to speak (they’ll know you are
Live in “gated, and gurkha-guarded communities”.
“Live in” – literally. DO NOT leave your property
unattended. When you buy the property, live in it.
It is NOT a good idea to buy a property and then leave it
To really have a good idea about how you will adapt to the
Rent a unit for one
year. Live in that country for one year. If you enjoy your stay, then you may
consider buying a property. BEFORE YOU DO – ensure that you know everything you
need to know about “foreigners buying a local property”. Ask for detail. If you
don’t understand a vague print, use a magnifying glass. DO NOT be intimidated
by legal jargon. You have the right to understand the terms in layman language.
Do not buy a foreign property for the purpose of renting it
out. It is NOT easy to rent it out.
Do not buy a foreign property for use as a “vacation
home”. DO NOT leave your house vacant.
Thieves will break in.
Some of us have already moved to JB, successfully. They say,
“Blend in, don’t stand out.”
will not see them waving a red banner with yellow print proclaiming, “We are
Singaporeans living in JB.”
End of their feedback.
Silverhairs members have toyed with the idea of retiring in
Chiang Mai, Yunnan, JB, Penang, Batam, Bandung…
The most important consideration – are you willing to leave
your family and friends in Singapore?
Even if the answer is vaguely “maybe….” I’d encourage you to spend a little more time to re-evaluate your
That was all I wish to share with you.
I wish you all the best.